Anti-corruption advisor calls for greater autonomy in sport


Sport needs greater autonomy from politics following the publication of a report on alleged doping within Russian athletics, according to Sylvia Schenk, a sports advisor to anti-corruption organisation Transparency International (TI).

The commission, established by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), revealed on Monday it had found evidence of "widespread cheating through the use of doping substances and methods" in Russian athletics.

Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko, who is also a member of the FIFA Executive Committee and president of the Russian Football Union (RFU), was accused of complicity by Dick Pound - the former WADA president who led the independent commission.

And Schenk believes denying such political figures roles in sport would provide the independence required.

"In Russia, we have the situation where the sports minister is at the same time the [RFU] president and is seated in the executive committee of FIFA for UEFA," Schenk said.

"This is a connection between sports and politics, which makes fun [a mockery] of everything that you normally demand in terms of the autonomy of sports.

"My demand is that the international, and, if possible, also the national associations, implement laws stating that no politician may take a position in sports."

Schenk added that Russia president Vladimir Putin's decision to call for an investigation into the allegations is a step in the right direction.

"I read that Putin said that it needs to be invested in, so he reacted different than his sports minister, who said that it's all nonsense," she added.

"It seems that Putin realized that you cannot handle the topic like this - you have to take measures. So I think this is a first step."